A headmaster in one of the Senior High Schools (SHS) in Ghana has lamented over the GH¢1.50 pesewas allocated every student per day under government’s Free SHS policy.
According to him, the heads of the various schools are supposed to use the GH¢1.50 pesewas to buy firewood, gas, ingredient, maintenance works and food for the students.
Outlining the struggles associated with the Free SHS policy, on Eyewitness News with Umaru Sanda Amadu, on condition of anonymity, an incensed headteacher, whose name has been withheld said, “Every student is allocated GH¢1.50 pesewas for food per day and with this same money, you have to buy gas, do maintenance works in the kitchen”.
“If you don’t have fuel and a car to transport the ingredient from the market to your school, then that is another issue. The same money is used to feed the students breakfast, lunch and supper. Meaning, 50 pesewas per child for breakfast, lunch, and supper, inclusive of the gas and maintenance.”
He said they have to resort to broken school furniture to set fire outside the pantry when they don’t have gas for cooking.
“You have to go round to look for firewood if you don’t have gas. You look for broken school chairs to set fire before cooking outside the pantry. It’s so sad my brother, I’m in the belly of the fish, and I’m telling you the truth, it’s not fiction, because I’m experiencing it, it’s sad. Imagine the hazards our kitchen staff go through,” he bemoaned.
The Free SHS policy is a government initiative introduced in September 2017 by the Nana Akufo-Addo government to provide free education for senior high school students.
Several calls by civil society organisations and watchers of the education space for the review of the policy have been rejected by the government despite glaring challenges plaguing the programme.
The headteacher in the same interview called on government to stop giving some of the freebies under the free SHS policy in order to sustain the programme.